MARINARESCO, the 2017 Durban July winner, makes his Dubai debut in Thursday’s Gr2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400m on turf, a race the stable has won half a dozen times in the last 15 years, but not considered a winning opportunity this year.
Mike de Kock said on Wednesday: “Marinaresco is an older horse, he has travelled, he will need the run and he needs further. He’s doing nicely in his work and of course Bernard Fayd’Herbe knows him well, but we’ll be happy to see him run within six or eight lengths off the winner.
“I also have to note here that the ratings of South African horses are misleading as the South African crop went up 6 lbs last year. The NHA announced that it was a local adjustment only and not an international rating. However, Marinaresco has been rated six lbs up at 118 so the NHA’s statement does not reflect in the Dubai ratings.
“Effectively, South African horses have been prejudiced to the tune of 6 lbs and quite frankly it’s wholly misleading. In reality Marinaresco is a MR112 not 118 as published!
“Marinaresco’s supporters may think he can make a winning comeback over 1400m since his record shows a win in the Drill Hall Stakes at Greyville, but this is not Greyville and it’s a much tougher race. We’ve enjoyed working with him and look forward to him improving with racing through the carnival.”
Janoobi (Jim Crowley) will join Marinaresco in the race. The five-year-old entire ran downfield in a 1400m handicap a fortnight ago, but is expected to run a better race and Mike said: “If you look at last year’s form, Janoobi ran way back in his first Dubai start and then started making rapid improvement. The Al Fahidi is too short for him, he needs another run to get him to his peak.”
A good run is expected from Alfolk in Race 1, the AGA Billets Trophy over 1000m on turf. Mike commented: “He was beaten eight lengths on his debut here on 3 January but he’s come on very well, I think he’ll be right there, he can finish in the money.
“All our runners have needed it, but this is nothing new for us. If you recall Shea Shea finished 7 of 12 on his Dubai debut in 2013, his fans thought that was a moderate run but a few weeks later he won a Listed sprint and then a Group 1. They take time to get to top fitness.”